Apparently Criterion just couldn’t wait any longer.
Right at 2pm EST on Monday, Criterion hit the world with the right hook that is their monthly release announcements, and for January, it may seem like a light month, but if it’s not one hell of a punch in the face, I don’t know what is.
A trio of films lead off January’s announcement, in the form of The Tin Drum, Two Lane Blacktop and Ivan’s Childhood. All three films are getting upgraded to Criterion Blu-ray releases, with the former coming in an all new transfer. That new restoration has been touring for a while now, and is bound to look awesome on Criterion Blu-ray. The other two? Just awesome additions to their HD lineup. I’m partial to Blacktop, as it’s arguably the greatest road movie ever made, and will look absolutely fantastic in HD. It’s also a genuinely great Criterion Collection release, so it will be a welcome double dip for fans of the iconic film. Drum is easily the biggest upgrade though, getting new artwork and a cavalcade of new features, and Childhood is simply a port over, but it’s one of Tarkovsky’s greatest films, so I think we can all deal with that.
As far as new releases go, Criterion is starting off 2013 right.
Two films are new to the C’s ranks, starting with Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much. The film is going to come with a commentary with historian Philip Kemp and an interview with Guillermo del Toro, as well as a excerpts from Francois Truffaut’s interviews with Hitch, and a restoration demonstration (nerd moment: there needs to be more of these). Toss in an interview with Hitchcock from 1972, and you have one hell of a release for an underrated Hitchcock classic.
However, the month belongs to Wim Wenders. Pina is finally coming to Criterion Collection DVD and Blu-ray, and will be seen not only in HD, but in 3D as well. That’s right, Criterion is releasing a Blu-ray/3D Blu-ray combo for the first time, to cap off what is an absolutely masterful collection of features. The film comes with a Wenders commentary, a 3D capable making of documentary, deleted scenes (with commentary and also available in 3D), an interview with Wenders and behind the scenes footage. I was a massive fan of the film when I saw it at Cannes in 2011, and it’s been a long time coming to Criterion. Possibly the greatest film ever shot about dance, it’s also the medium’s greatest use of 3D, so January 22 can’t get here fast enough.